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Chief construction officer ‘in place this year’

A chief construction officer is expected to be appointed and in office before the end of the year.

A formal announcement of the position will be made next week, according to construction industry sources close to the department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The department will give its blessing to the creation of a full-time chief construction officer, who it hopes will be appointed before the end of 2009.

The announcement is expected to quash concerns that only a part-time role would be created, or that the role would not be created in time for a General Election.

For months the industry has been calling for a chief construction officer with the brief to promote the best interests of the construction industry within Whitehall.

The CBI Construction Council made the creation of a CCO its number one priority after its inception in October last year. As the third CBI sector group – joining the financial services and manufacturing councils – the Construction Council was itself created to give a single voice to construction business interests.

The council has written several letters to ministers over the desired role and responsibilities of a chief construction officer.

Ian Lucas, the ninth construction minister since 2001 when he was appointed in June, has been urged from day one by the industry to create a CCO.